Chirac proves exactly why there is no European Google killer

Published January 16th, 2006 edit replace rm!

I don’t know if I should laugh or cry, but it is just typical really of why there are so few large successfull web based services in Europe.

The project, called Quaero, found itself in the spotlight following remarks last week by French President Jacques Chirac in a speech laying out his agenda for France in 2006. “We must take up the challenge posed by the American giants Google and Yahoo,” Chirac said, discussing the importance of technology to Europe’s economy. “For that, we will launch a European search engine, Quaero.” [Computer world ]

Chirac and friends are busy trying to kill the entrepreneurial spirit of places like the UK and Estonia by imposing more ridiculous regulations on them that the US doesn’t have and at the same time he is off trying to build a competitor to his great enemy the US.

I have news for you Chirac, neither Google nor Yahoo were funded or invented by Bush or Clinton (Maybe Gore had a hand in there somewhere?). They were founded by geeks with easy access to capital in an environment that encourages experimentation. They where able to encourage the best people of the world to join them.

Europe is infested in government and EU run entreprise generation schemes. In the 20 or so years I have followed them, very few of them have produced any thing like the entrepreneurialism of Silicon Valley.

Skype is one of the examples of successful European internet companies, and they most certainly would never have been funded by some hair brained government scheme. They succeeded inspite of the European governments in part by using the strategies that Chirac and the OECD claim are unfair.

These guys will never learn. The Danish government also seem to think along the same lines. To be fair you see this kind of thing many places. But it’s typical of Chirac to try to do this with such bravado.

And while it may be a great place to work France’s Silicon Valley is not and will never be Silicon Valley for very obvious reasons. It is a techno park for large established companies nothing more nothing less. It would probably be an ideal place for a new Google or Yahoo campus, but for people starting up in their garage or dorm room? Give me a break.

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My name is Pelle Braendgaard. Pronounce it like Pelé the footballer (no relation). CEO of Notabene where we are building FATF Crypto Travel Rule compliance software.

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